Play will see Lobey ride back ... as a space cowboy

GLASGOW'S favourite cartoon character has been re-invented ...

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Duncan Comrie next to the Lobey Dosser statue
Duncan Comrie next to the Lobey Dosser statue

as a space cowboy.

West of Scotland playwright Duncan Comrie, 54, wanted to bring Bud Neill's legendary Evening Times comic strip creation Lobey Dosser back to life for his legion of fans.

Partick-born Bud lauched a series of cartoons for the paper themed around Glasgow life in 1944.

His most famous character Lobey, who is cowboy sheriff of the mythical Calton Creek, first appeared in the Evening Times in 1949 and ran until 1956.

In Duncan's new play the pint-sized elaborately whiskered sheriff is called to investigate a dodgy mission to Venus where crook Rank Bajin, has a lucrative government contract to transmit energy back to Scotland.

Along the way he is reunited with his old cartoon side-kick the GI Bride, Annie, and new character, Clementine a humanoid robot.

Bud Neill was one of Britain's most innovative newspaper cartoonists. Between the 1940s and 1960s his work appeared in a range of titles.

Working as driver on the Glasgow buses provided much of the material that would later find its way into his work, which captured the down-to-earth humour of Glaswegians in an often surreal way.

Following his death, his work has attained cult status with a worldwide following.

The artist, who grew up in Troon, died in 1970 at the age of 59.

Duncan, from Falkirk, said: "The play is my homage to the wit of Neill and his famous cartoon series, based on the fictional adventures of the Wild West cowboy Sheriff Lobey Dosser.

"I think the critical moment for the birth of the idea was a combination of having written a few plays and finding booklets of the collected cartoon series by Bud Neill of Lobey Dosser at Voltaire & Rousseau's secondhand bookshop in Glasgow last year.

"It seemed like a delightful idea to bring Lobey Dosser back to life. I have done something similar with the Statues in George Square, who I 'regenerated' by the virus of the World War Z zombies.

"Although Neill's news-paper cartoon character has close historic ties with older Glaswegians, I also think his sense of humour stands the test of time."

Duncan, who previously taught critical studies part-time at Glasgow School of Art, is hoping to attract the attention of theatre bosses in Glasgow and the dad-of-two has also written a musical version of the play complete with Calamity Jane-themed music.

Lobey Dosser is immortalised in a statue on Woodland's Road that was funded via a £20,000 public appeal in our sister paper The Herald and unveiled on May 1, 1992. It was created by sculptors Tony Morrow and Nick Gillon

Two years ago a giant statue, identical to the one in Glasgow, was auctioned off after a millionaire businessman abandoned plans to display it at his home in California.

Maryhill-born millionaire businessman Jim Dunlop stumped up an undisclosed four-figure sum for the prototype.

A statue honouring his comic side-kick the GI Bride was unveiled in Partick in 2011.

caroline.wilson@eveningtimes.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

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